Ohio chief medical officer not recommending change in mask protocols “at this stage”

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s top doctor says the state will not be changing mask recommendations right now but is keeping a “close eye” on the new, possibly more dangerous strains of COVID-19 that have started to emerge.

“At this stage in the game, we are watching those reports very closely and not making a recommendation for a change in our clinical practices,” Ohio Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Tuesday. “The good news in Ohio is that our safety measures appear to be working quite well.”

“Quite well” referring to the decline in Ohio’s COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers over the past few weeks.

Several high-profile doctors, including NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci and former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, have suggested “double-making” or upgrading from cloth to medical-grade masks is something Americans might want to consider.

“It’s clear from the research that came out of the Ohio State University and was shared not that long ago … they had identified the presence in most samples in the greater central Ohio area of the so-called Midwest variant that the CDC has identified, which is one of these variants with changes to the spike protein that presumably make it more contagious. And yet, we have nevertheless seen improving numbers in our region,” Vanderhoff said.

I remain at this time confident about the safety measures that we are undertaking. But we’ll continue to keep a very close eye on developments.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Chief Medical Officer

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